Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors, OKC Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans: NBA Thursday play-in games betting preview
Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors. The NBA’s play-in hits the knockout stage today between the East and West 9-10 seeds. Who do the odds like between the Raptors and Bulls, or the Thunder and Pelicans?
The NBA’s play-in tournament gets super fascinating today as we hit the knockout stage between the East and West 9-10 seeds. In the East the Toronto Raptors host the Chicago Bulls for the right to battle it out with Miami for the East’s 8-seed (and the right to get curb stomped by the Milwaukee Bucks) on Friday.
Out West, Aussie Josh Giddey and his Oklahoma City Thunder are big underdogs heading to New Orleans to take on Brandon Ingram and the Pelicans.
Zach ‘Adam’ LaVine (s/o NBA Straya), DeMar DeRozan and the 10-seed Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors travel to Canada to take on the 9-seed Toronto Raptors with Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet (of the Fightin’ Van Vleets) for the right to play Miami on Friday for the 8-seed and a playoff berth, while the losers will be checking to see if the flights they booked to Cancun are still valid.
This is a fascinating matchup: the Raptors are 18-12 in the last 30 games and went 14-11 with trade deadline pick-up ‘Teenage Mutant’ Jakob Poetl, while Bulls are 15-15 but have had the league’s best defence since February 1. A run that oddly enough coincides with deciding to move absolute menace Alex Caruso to the starting lineup.
The two teams have split the last four match-ups, the last being a 104-98 win for the Raptors at the end of February in Chicago.
Both teams have plenty of scoring and size. But the Raptors have – despite their record – felt wobbly in the past two weeks as questions have been raised about the commitment of coach Nick Nurse after this season.
With that in mind, it’s hard not to have a sense of caution about Toronto, even at home where they’re one of the best teams at covering the spread.
Look for DeMar DeRozan to have a huge game against his old team and the Bulls to at least cover the spread, if not win outright.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS:
Another terrific matchup for a 9-10 knock out, the Thunder might not have the size to combat Ingram and centre Jonas Valanciunas. But with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the way and averaging 31.4 points a game this season and Giddey the do-everything gap-filler, the Thunder can match it offensively with any team.
The problem is the Pelicans have plenty of options as well. With Brandon ‘Spindles’ Ingram and CJ McCollum desperate to give themselves another shot at beating the Wolves to make the post-season after blowing their chance on Monday.
OKC, however, was the NBA’s fifth-best team at covering the points line on the road and should push the Pelicans all the way to the bitter end.